by Yuval Levin
Here, from the transcript of yesterday’s Supreme Court oral argument, is the contemporary Left in a nutshell, as expressed by Justice Elena Kagan:
Why is a big gift from the Federal Government a matter of coercion? In other words, the Federal Government is here saying, we are giving you a boatload of money. There are no, there’s no matching funds requirement, there are no extraneous conditions attached to it, it’s just a boatload of federal money for you to take and spend on poor people’s healthcare. It doesn’t sound coercive to me, I have to tell you.
It’s hard to know where to begin, but Paul Clement did a very good job of it.
The massive Medicaid expansion in Obamacare (which was the final subject taken up in yesterday’s final round of arguments) has certainly not been the focus of the constitutional debates about the statute, but its cavalier attitude toward federalism is easily on par with the understanding of individual liberty and the power of government that underlies the individual mandate. The law really is the embodiment of progressivism.